Correct terminology is preferred

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by tldoug, May 25, 2009.

  1. tldoug

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 25, 2009
    It is a puzzlement why you choose to refer to component "leads" as "wires." ( Vol. III, page 1; et al.) Granted, the terms are generically and technically interchangeable in certain contexts, but would you call the "pins" on an IC package "wires?" If not, why not? They are both conductors and serve a similar purpose to transistor, diode, resistor, and capacitor "leads", to name but a few examples.

    Using commonly accepted terminology, jargon though it may be, helps prevent miscommunication in a peer dialogue. Should someone approach me with a question about transistors and use a term like "collector wire", I would assume very limited knowledge on their part and my response would be accordingly slow, thorough, and possibly tedious.

    I am arguing for nothing more than introducing students to common terminology at the earliest stages in order to smooth their transition when the time comes. I am not in favor of creating more acronym spewing idiots who cannot define what it is they are talking about. That is a whole 'nuther rant.
  2. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    As I understand the terms they are different and not interchangeable.

    A wire is just that - a (long) stringlike filament of metal. Some wires are mechanically stiff

    'stranded wire' refers to a several wires bundled together and implies a measure of flexibility.

    A wire is not inherently an insulated component, however it is common practice to refer to 'covered wires' by their covering, eg the 'red wire'. The covering may be varnish, cloth, plastic, rubber etc but its inherent purpose is insulation.

    Several wires (bare or covered) may be housed together in a further covering and made into a 'cable'. Here the covering often has the additional function of protection.

    Many components have real wires not pins as their connection element. EG resistors, capacitors, transistors etc etc.

    A lead on the other hand may not contain any wires (or pins) at all! Here is a dictionary definition.

    "The assemblage of conductors or transmission lines whcih connect a power source to its load."

    The point is that leads are something more than just metallic connectors. The coax antenna leads are carefully constructed (hopefully) to form a transmission line for the signal.

    Leads are often used in the plural eg car battery jump leads for similar reasons. In fact I'm not sure you can legitimately call a single conductor a 'lead'.
  3. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    I would like to see specific examples of what the OP finds objectionable. The link he gave is dead. I tend to follow Studiot definition myself.

    My current job I lay bare gold 0.001" wire that interconnects the various chip die to their components. It is not leads, but wire.
  4. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    Some further thoughts:

    We talk about the mains wire(s) or wiring when we mean the fixed building electricity supply and leads when we talk about the american term 'connecting cord' which we use to plug portable equipment in with.

    My kettle lead comprises three wires and a suitable plug at each end.

    If you talked about transformer leads I would understand you to mean the set of external wires issuing from the body of the transformer or connected to its terminals, not the wires forming the primary or secondary windings.

    So sometimes it is useful to have more than one term to help distinguish.

    My father's pacemaker is conencted by wires (medical term) not leads.
  5. meena


    hey its too boring okey
  6. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008

    Hi TL:

    This is a good point, and since we have a fairly international readership, we should probably insert a glossary of electronics terms in ye olde AAC ebook.

    Though "everyone" knows that a Tube is a Valve in Great Britain and a Lampe in France, there are undoubtedly many terms which are not so readily apparent. Such a glossary would be great fun, as well as informative, besides. :)

  7. mkbutan

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2008
    AND Mr. KL7AG IS RIGHT.....